On the House side, it’s Dave Camp (R-MI), who chairs the Ways and Means Committee, Fred Upton (R-MI), who chairs Energy and Commerce and Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).
And on the Senate side, it’s Pat Toomey (R-PA), John Kyl (R-AZ) and Rob Portman (R-OH).
The three guys from the Senate are excellent. Toomey headed the Club For Growth before getting elected to the Senate and he was the author of the bill which would have directed Treasury to prioritize debt service and Social Security payments in the event of a debt limit deal not coming before that deadline last Tuesday.
Kyl is the leadership guy, and he’s as reliable a conservative as there is. And Portman was OMB director for Bush, which might make you think he’s a RINO but in fact his entire campaign last year was about fiscal restraint and doing something about how out-of-control the budget is. He’ll make a deal, but only on his side’s terms.
Camp, Upton and Hensarling aren’t going to fold on taxes. Upton was the idiot who threw in with the Dems on the stupid light bulb ban, but he makes contrition for that daily – and he’s terrific on Obamacare. Hensarling has been around long before the Tea Party, but he’s pushed a Tea Party agenda before one was even cool.
It’s a good group, even if some of the folks we’d really have liked to see – like Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan or one of the Tea Party freshmen in the House – haven’t made it onto the list. Thank God there aren’t any Susan Collinses or John McCains or Scott Browns, which is what we were terrified of.
You need people who understand the numbers for something like this, and it looks like Boehner and McConnell have found some warriors. The GOP side isn’t going to get snookered based on that group.
Nancy Pelosi hasn’t picked her three yet. But Harry Reid sent his up yesterday – Patty Murray (D-WA), John Kerry (D-MA) and Max Baucus (D-MT). Three dimmer bulbs you won’t find – Murray is one of the biggest morons on Capitol Hill, Kerry is fresh off caling the Tea Party a bunch of terrorists and Baucus often appears drunk on the Senate floor. Baucus, though, is regarded as a hopeful sign since once in a while he’ll have a lucid moment and might be amenable to some sense on the budget. It’s unlikely Pelosi will come up with anybody better than the Senate Democrat trio.
This committee won’t do any good. The Republican list indicates that it probably won’t do any real damage, though.